Our regressive, draconian banking system | Letters to the Editor


The entire Caribbean should be immensely proud of Barbadian Prime Minister Mia Mottley’s outstanding presentation during her testimony in Washington on the US impact of disaster risk reduction in the Caribbean.

Mottley spoke passionately not just for his native Barbados, but for the entire Caribbean, pleading for common sense, stopping diplomatically to tell conceited Americans that their retrograde actions are indeed senseless.

She reminded us how important it was as a teenager that our parents took us to open a bank account, now espousing “we fight for the human rights of our citizens because today it’s a gargantuan obstacle to do so. “. Just imagine the brazen audacity of denying us banking rights while creating and dictating stupid obstacles to thwart economic developments!

Caribbean citizens were either denied essential banking services or simply walked away when draconian stipulations presented by their bankers who never pleaded for relief, were insulting, regressive and simply lacked common sense, forcing a underground banking system to expand. And as if that weren’t humiliating enough, Americans created the term “money laundering” to imprison people just for having money, which is useless if it’s not put into circulation. .

The great white elephant in the room is committing major social, political and economic injustices around the world and, fearing reprisals, has crafted a plethora of dictates primarily to third world and developing countries demanding that they follow instructions under the threat of non-access to their valuable SWIFT system, the platform used for global money transfers.

Trinidad’s lame bankers have accepted and taken a broad approach by inevitably assigning every customer a money launderer devoid of proof, making any legitimate business transaction insurmountable. Locally, FACTA has essentially made every business and service provider land agents for America, forcing lawyers, real estate agents, car dealerships, jewelers, etc., under threat, to report every transaction they consider it “suspicious”, while the Financial Action Task Force has blacklisted some Caribbean countries. , engrossed in abiding by dictates, although in the complete absence of Caribbean launderers, the real launderers, as Mottley commonly proposed, went to London, the United States, Switzerland and Luxembourg.

The problem is that while Trinidad’s parochial bankers block all legitimate transactions by denying citizens their human right to open bank accounts, the very American financial system would allow anyone to open bank accounts and then determine by conduct to have this right to the bank, if they are laundering; and out of 100 accounts opened, only 12% can be reported, probably 4% actually held, while the vast majority help build the US economy by operating savings accounts, running businesses, creating jobs , all legit.

Obviously, our closed-minded bankers only focus on the negatives. Last week, while at RBC, Maraval, a client was annoyed that, having been a client for 22 years, he had come to simply change his address, having recently moved.

The bank demanded a utility bill, two pieces of ID and a work letter, although it was already on their system. This silly insult is not dispensed in Canada, the United States or Europe. Recently, a young graduate, in business creation, approached a bank whose paradoxical mantra is “we put you first”, but was refused a company checking account, and “offered” a company savings account for a year “to see how you’re doing”. ”. How would he pay employees when most are denied bank accounts, or for goods and services, or to manage accounting practices?

Unequivocally, Trinbagonians are not money launderers, and it is high time we ended our regressive banking shame and focused sensibly on economic developments encompassing the human right to bank.

Trevor Hosten


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